Waqar to lead Pakistan in World Cup, confirms PCB

Published: Sunday, December 22, 2002, 1:36 [IST]
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Rawalpindi: Waqar Younis will retain his captaincy of Pakistan's national team for the upcoming World Cup, the country's cricket chief announced on Saturday. "I have no doubts in my mind that Waqar will lead Pakistan in next year's World Cup," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia told reporters.

The announcement put to rest lingering and widespread speculation over who would lead Pakistan in the quadrennial event. Pakistan is among the teams favoured to win the championship in South Africa. Media reports in Pakistan suggested Waqar would be demoted after the team's dismal 4- 1 loss in the One-day series to South Africa which ended earlier this week. Veteran pacer Wasim Akram was tipped to take over and to challenge a match-fixing inquiry's recommendation that he should be barred from leading the team.

"Since Waqar has retained his form and fitness he would continue to lead. If, God forbid, he sustains an injury then as options we have Rashid Latif, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Wasim," Zia said. The squad has been plagued by injury recently, with express pacer Shoaib Akhtar already ruled out of the upcoming Test series with South Africa. Zia was speaking after a ceremony outside Rawalpindi to unveil the Cup trophy, which was brought to Pakistan on a sponsored tour.

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